What is reflux? 

Reflux is when a baby brings up milk, or is sick, during or shortly after feeding. Other symptoms can include coughing or hiccuping and displaying discomfort, being unsettled during feeding, crying and not settling well.  

Reflux is quite common and will usually get better on its own, not requiring medication.

Reflux occurs because the ring of muscle between the oesophagus (food pipe) and stomach is not fully developed leading to milk travelling back up the food pipe causing heartburn. The NHS states that it will usually start before a baby is 8 weeks old and gets better by the time the baby is one year old.

Some babies may have symptoms of reflux but not bring up milk or be sick, this is called silent reflux.

Posseting is quite common in babies under six months old and is when babies bring up a small amount of milk (usually a teaspoonful) without displaying any discomfort. 

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a more intense reflux with the acid rising from the stomach that can cause damage to the lining of the oesophagus. 

If you have concerns about this and your baby is not gaining weight then you should consult your GP.  

What can you do? 

We know that if your baby is suffering with reflux, it can be very distressing for you and your baby. We recommend you visit your GP to get your baby checked. It can be also be helpful to see an experienced Cranial Osteopath or Paediatric Chiropractor for a review. It is not unusual to find tension, restriction or strain patterns in a baby’s diaphragm or rib cage that can be contributing to the possetting or reflux. 

A trained paediatric Chiropractor, Craniosacral Therapist or Cranial Osteopath can help release the strains and tension to deliver relief to your baby. It is important to review the whole balance of a baby’s structure including cranial strain patterns after birth.

Baby massage can assist to relax and unwind muscle and soft tissue tensions in the abdomen, chest, neck and back and calm the nervous system. See our blog on baby massage here.

The Qudo Soother has been designed specifically to reduce discomfort in young babies. It helps an infant as the sucking releases tension in the skull and supports the mobilisation of the soft tissue and bony structures. It helps relieve tension, especially around the base of the skull, which is often one source of pressure against the Vagus Nerve, which affects and informs several systems in the human body, i.e. the Digestive Tract. These strain patterns form as a result of how the baby is lying in a mother’s womb and the mechanics of birth and can be exacerbated through medical interventions to assist birth such as Ventouse and Forceps.

1 February 2024